About New World Montessori School

Faculty & Staff

All New World Montessori School teachers have college degrees with post-graduate training at internationally accredited Montessori training centers. The teachers are certified by the AMI (Association Montessori Internationale), and elementary teachers receive additional training at AMI Institutes in Washington, D.C., and Milwaukee, WI.

Our teachers and assistants are experienced, knowledgeable, committed and caring. Their love for children, dedication to teaching and enthusiasm create a truly wonderful environment to nurture a child's love of learning.

Priscilla Bovee - School Director & Elementary TeacherPriscilla Bovee
School Director and Elementary Teacher
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Priscilla has been with New World Montessori School since its inception in 1975. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Marquette University, Priscilla studied under Hildegard Solzbacher at the Midwest Montessori Institute, obtaining her Primary Montessori certification in 1975. Miss Solzbacher then offered Priscilla a position on the New World faculty. Priscilla received her elementary Montessori training in Washington, D.C. in 1983. She became Administrator of New World upon Miss Solzbacher’s retirement in 1992. Priscilla lives in Fox Point with her husband Roy and her children, Gregory and Renee, both former New World Montessori School students.


Pam Ruppa - Primary TeacherPam Ruppa
Assistant Director and Primary Teacher
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Pam has a degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Psychology and English. She received her Montessori training at the Washington Montessori Institute, and has been a Montessori teacher since 1981. Pam joined New World Montessori School in 2001. She lives in Whitefish Bay with her husband, Paul and their two children, JoAnna and Andy,former Montessori students. The Ruppa family also shares their home with a Labrador dog. Pam enjoys traveling to the east coast to visit family, reading, and watching her children participate in numerous sports such as soccer, softball, and snowboarding. She is an advisor to eight high school girls for Service Clubs of Milwaukee.

Diane Ziolkowski - Primary AssistantDiane Ziolkowski
Primary Assistant

"Mrs. Zo" has worked as an assistant with Mrs. Ruppa since 2004. She holds a degree in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and enjoys using sign language while speaking to the children. Mrs. Zo lives in Whitefish Bay and has four grown sons. In her spare time, she enjoys leisurely biking, reading and backyard bird watching. Mrs. Zo is also an active volunteer with the International Exchange program, AFS.


Monica Ray - Primary Teacher

Monica Ray
Primary Teacher
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Monica attended the University of Western Ontario studying English and History. She was inspired to earn her AMI primary certification while living with her husband in Bergamo, Italy while he was earning his AMI certification. She graduated from the Midwest Montessori Institute in 1990 and taught in Key West, Florida for two years. She has assisted and taught at New World Montessori School since 2001. Monica has also studied photography at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario and enjoys sailing and hockey.

Arati Pati - Primary Assistant

Arati Pati
Primary Assistant

Mrs. Pati is the assistant in Mrs. Ray's classroom. She received her Montessori training from New World's founder, Hildegard Solzbacher, at the Midwest Montessori Institute. For many years, Mrs. Pati worked as a primary teacher in both private and public Montessori Schools in Milwaukee. Upon her retirement, she decided to stay involved in Montessori education by working as an assistant. Mrs. Pati earned a B.A. and M.A. in English Literature from Utkal University in India, and she furthered her education at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. She and her husband of 37 years live in Cedarburg. They have an adult son and daughter. In her spare time, Mrs. Pati enjoys reading and traveling.


Stacy Knapp - Elementary TeacherStacy Knapp
Elementary Teacher
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Stacy Knapp completed her bachelor degree in fine arts in 2005 from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Her previous experience working with preschoolers, coupled with her studies of societal pressures and media influence, drew her to Montessori. She has worked for three years as a Montessori teacher while pursuing her formal Montessori training. Stacy enjoys drawing, sculpting and photography. She believes art allows her to observe the world in many different lights, a useful skill when interacting with children.

Arati Pati - Elementary Assistant

Gail Sklba
Elementary Assistant

Mrs. Sklba has been with New World since 2007 and has worked in many capacities, most recently as an assistant to Miss Knapp in the elementary class. She is a certified pre-school teacher and has six years of experience at a preschool in Shorewood. Mrs. Sklba has lived in Whitefish Bay for many years with her husband, Paul, their two grown sons and their dog, Hunter. In her free time, when she can put down a good book, she is restoring their 100-year-old house.


Noa Levin - Bambini Teacher

Noa Levin
Bambini Teacher

Mrs. Levin is our Bambini Program teacher. She lives on the east side of Milwaukee with her husband and five children. Mrs. Levin was born in France and finished high school in Israel. She graduated from Efrata Teachers' College and worked as an Art Teacher. She and her family moved to the U.S. in 2000. Mrs. Levin earned a diploma at the Mid-America Montessori Training Institute In Omaha, Nebraska. She has worked in Montessori schools in New Jersey and Milwaukee as an assistant.


Valentina de Navasques - Toddler / Bambini Teacher

Valentina de Navasques
Toddler / Bambini Assistant

Valentina is a native of Milan, Italy, where she received her degree in literature, history and art and completed classes and coursework in marketing and management. While working in offices, she also taught Italian, philosophy and literature. She moved in Milwaukee in 1999, and she has taught Italian for 11 years at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and UW-Waukesha. Valentina is now also studying Spanish. She lives in a condo near Glendale, and in her spare time she likes to read and attend plays and classical music concerts. Valentina also has two wonderful (and spoiled) cats, Tina and Cipro.


Amanda Singh - Practical Spanish Instructor

Amanda Singh
Practical Spanish Instructor

Amanda Singh earned a Bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin and a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola University Chicago. After obtaining her Master's degree, she taught 4th and 6th grades in a bilingual classroom on Chicago’s South Side. In that role, Amanda communicated regularly with staff, parents and students in Spanish. Amanda was awarded numerous grants and scholarships during her Chicago Public Schools tenure, and she helped her school receive a prestigious Fine Arts and Dual Language designation from the district. Amanda has also been a Master Instructor at Cardinal Stritch’s Reading Center. She has traveled to Guatemala, Argentina, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Spain. Amanda and her husband Shantanu are the proud parents of Lina and Oscar. In addition to her teaching career, Amanda has established herself as an accomplished artist who specializes in animal portraiture.


Will Branch - Music Teacher.  Photo by Jeff Durand

Will Branch
Music Teacher

Mr. Branch has been teaching music classes at New World since 2003. He has a BA in English from UW-Milwaukee. He began working as a professional musician in the early 90s. Since 1998, as a part of the musical duo Fox and Branch, he has performed hundreds of concerts for families all over the Midwest and recorded a series of award-winning CDs of music for children. Will is also a trained teacher with Music Together, a program designed to help young children develop musical competence. He lives in Milwaukee with his wife and daughter.